On March 3, when Sacramentans cast their ballots they will be faced with many important decisions as they research and evaluate candidates, ballot measures, and more. One city proposition has been widely discussed and raised many larger questions about investment in youth: Measure G.
The SacKidsFirst website explains “The measure does not increase taxes. Measure G will require the City of Sacramento to set a modest amount of its existing general revenues, 2.5 percent, for children and youth services. Not less than 90% of all monies in the Fund must be used for direct services for children and youth”. To jumpstart public awareness of the measure, the organization collected and submitted over 38,000 signatures to the City Clerk last April. The measure has drawn both widespread praise and criticism. With councilmembers Schenirer, Warren, and Guerra in favor; and Carr, Ashby, and Harris opposed there has been no shortage of public discussion regarding the measure.
Proponents of the bill often believe that investing in youth and their early development is key to preventing many issues later in adolescence or adulthood. There is evidence that being provided educational and artistic opportunities in one’s youth can help students remain motivated to furthering their education and finding fulfilling careers.
While many are optimistic about the measure and the positive impact it may have on children, there are many who think the method of maintaining this funding may be counterproductive. They often cite the fact that over 7% of city funds already fund these youth programs which is more than mandated by the measure.
Those opposing the measure often say that budget flexibility is crucial to maintaining the city when economic times get hard. In the future, if the city was forced to make cuts they may have to defund certain important social or economic programs in order to meet the Measure G quota.